Introduction to Health & Safety at Work

Health & Safety at work

Health & Safety at work is based around one very simple principle. This principle is that there is a 'duty of care'.

Health & Safety law places duties upon those involved and in control of work activities and authorises enforcement officers.

Health & Safety duties are all about WORK. In order for Health & Safety law to apply to a situation, there must be a work activity. For example retail shops, call centres, offices, warehouses, care homes, restaurants and cafés.

What we do

Our officers carry out the following:

  • Support local businesses by providing advice during visits/inspections and responding to requests for advice
  • Investigate complaints and reportable incidents
  • From time to time carry out specific project based targeted inspections and contact with businesses
  • Take appropriate enforcement action (refer to our enforcement policy in the link below)

What we don't do

  • We don't enforce Health & Safety law in all types of businesses, some businesses fall under the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for enforcement
  • If we receive a complaint or a request relating to a premises that falls outside our jurisdiction, we will refer it to the correct enforcing authority or signpost you to them
  • Fire safety is dealt with by the Fire Service. If you have fire safety concerns relating to a business or a commercial setting, then please promptly contact the fire service:

Our enforcement policy

Officers follow a risk based graduated approach to enforcement. Enforcement consists of providing advice and support, informal enforcement (such as letters, emails and visit slips) and formal enforcement which is the service of formal legal notices and the instigation of prosecution proceedings.

For full details of our enforcement approach see:

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Page last updated: 16 April 2024

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